It was the second of back-to-back competitions here in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (RUS) and also the last chance for the athletes to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing 2022, which start in less than 30 days.
While it was really cold on Saturday for the first race day with temperatures as low as -24 degrees, the weather gods were much kinder to us on Sunday for the second competition. All prepped and ready for the second show, athletes first had to qualify in the pre-heat qualification mode and at precisely noon, it was showtime.
Bankes in terrific shape
One wouldn’t believe it, but for the big final of women, it was the exact same athletes in the start gate as on Saturday’s race. Australia’s Belle Brockhoff, and the three podium winners of Saturday, Charlotte Bankes (GB), Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) and winningest SBX athlete up to date, Lindsey Jacobellis (USA).
And, we just have to spoil it right away – it was another race, but the absolute exact podium again. What are the odds?! And here is what happened:
It was once again Belle Brockhoff, who shot out of the start gate as the fastest one, clearly with a bit of motivational anger from the day before, as she did not make it to the podium. Clearly, this time she really wanted to get there; you could tell. But already on the first turn, Bankes took the inside line and made a frontside pass on the Aussie, securing the lead of the heat.
Brockhoff then made a mistake in the following turn, causing her to lose balance on her board and almost crashing, which thankfully she didn’t, but clearly that one cost her a lot of speed. That’s when Trespeuch and Jacobellis, who where originally behind her, took advantage of the situation and made an inside pass on Brockhoff, edging her into fourth position.
In the following roller section, Brockhoff really pushed hard to generate speed again in the hope to overtake Jacobellis, but entering into the next bank, she took a way too far line, which resulted in her losing the possibility to pass and also losing speed again.
As for the front of the heat, there was no more changes, Bankes absolutely took it home for the second time this weekend and, as spoiled in the beginning of our recap, the podium was exactly the same as on Saturday’s race, which after all does not happen all that often.